An appeal against the council’s decision to reject 80 flats in Horsham town centre was dismissed by the planning inspector last week.
The scheme to demolish Linden House in Chart Way and build the new apartments was rejected by Horsham District Council’s Development Control North Committee last year with members describing the proposed design as ‘ugly’ and calling it a potential ‘blight’ on the town.
The developer appealed the decision, but last week planning inspector Louise Phillips backed HDC’s verdict.
In her report she felt the ‘proposed development would be harmful to the character and appearance of the area’.
It reads : “I agree with the appellant that the site offers the opportunity to create a building of interest and significance in the street scene, but in my view, the building proposed would look unexceptional and out of place.”
The building was vacated by Royal Sun Alliance in March 2007 and has been empty ever since.
Since HDC refused plans to demolish the building and erect a new block of flats, the new owners of Linden House have submitted a new application to convert the existing structure into 65 apartments.
Meanwhile another application for a new access to the car park under the existing office block directly off Albion Way was approved by HDC despite several members’ strong objections. Previously vehicles accessed the car park by Madeira Avenue.